Giant’s Causeway UNESCO World Heritage Site helped to generate £484.26 million for Northern Ireland Causeway Coast and Glens Region in 2017. With increasing levels of visitor numbers to the UNESCO World Heritage Site in recent years, Ulster University undertook a study in 2019 aiming to measure the economic contribution and social impact of the UNESCO designation as a major tourist attraction.
The survey includes an analysis of the Site’s economic contribution (GVA), its social impact to the region, such as benefits to residents and civic pride, and the potential impacts and risks associated with rapidly growing tourism numbers.
It found that the UNESCO accolade has significantly ‘fuelled the Causeway’s tourism popularity’ and had ‘a strong positive impact for the region’ but has also presented ‘potential challenges and threats’ in terms of over-tourism.
“We are proud to be one of the main employers along the North Coast – we employ 75 full-time staff, and this figure increases significantly during peak season. We contribute over £3.5 million in wages to local people and remain committed to working closely with the community – in fact 80% of the craft for sale in the Visitor Centre is produced locally or within the island of Ireland.”
Max Bryant, General Manager at the National Trust, responsible for the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast World Heritage Site and Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.
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